On May 25th, two new underground stretches were opened as a part of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).
The first stretch is from Nehru Park to Chennai Central
The second stretch is from Saidapet to DMS (Teynampet in Anna salai).
The stretches were inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Inauguration began from the Chennai Egmore Metro Rail station.
Free rides were provided as a part of the inauguration. The free rides were extended by a couple of days and it became a huge hit among riders. More than 2 lakh Chennaiites opted for the free rides. Many families thronged to the newly opened Metro stations to get a first-hand experience of travelling in Metro trains. Children and teenagers were so excited that they began singing, clapping and whistling in the train. Though there were daily commuters among the passengers, the train was jam-packed with new passengers who came to enjoy the free rides. The staff working in the Metro stations had a tough time in advising the passengers to follow the rules in the stations and guide them accordingly. The passengers were awed by the excellent services of the Metro rail and have given positive feedback of their travel.
With the opening of Chennai Central Metro station, regular Metro users will find it comfortable to travel in the stretch from Chennai Central to Chennai Airport without any hassle. The total ticket fare for this stretch has been set at RS. 70, while the fares for the intermediate stations vary accordingly. The Chief Minister also stated that the entire phase I project will be completed by the end of this year.
Apart from inaugurating the new stretches, there is also a buzz that share autos will be introduced along the stretches to help daily commuters reach the stations. Though there are small buses along these stretches, people have complained that there are not enough buses to take them to the stations. Hence, share autos will be introduced in the routes of both the underground and elevated stretches. As said by Aswathy Dilip of The Institute of Transportation and Development Policy, the share autos will have GPS tracking, mobile journey planner and smart card ticketing services to ensure a hassle-free travel for daily commuters.